The bright side, Part 3

Potter keeps wheel spinning for good at home
April 27th, 2020

Diane Chen crafts mostly bowls and mugs, but she also likes to donate to Empty Bowls to benefit the North Texas Food Bank.


Diane Chen ’18, research assistant in biomedical sciences

I’m a research technician and still going into Dr. Jerry Feng’s lab to keep up with some projects, but with the extra time at home I’ve been able to spend more time on my pottery in the garage. This has been a great outlet for me, as it is a hobby I really enjoy doing. Luckily, I had extra clay stored before the clay supply store closed, and it has kept me busy!

I grew up in Dallas and took my first pottery classes in high school, where I found myself loving it and wanting to learn more about ceramics. I took Ceramics I at Collin College during a summer home from Texas A&M University, where I was earning my bachelor’s in biomedical sciences. I am currently taking Ceramics II at Collin College this semester, but since the campus is closed, I am not sure when I’ll be back in the classroom.

I started getting back into ceramics as an undergrad, as there was an open studio in College Station that I basically visited every day. I knew I wanted to continue this hobby when I moved back to Dallas, so I reached out to my high school ceramics teacher who connected me with someone selling their old equipment. Since then, I’ve been able to work in my garage and learn more about ceramics.

I mainly make functional pieces like bowls and mugs that I either use myself or sell to friends. I’ve donated some of my work to Empty Bowls, which is a great annual event coordinated by the North Texas Food Bank where people can purchase bowls that potters and pottery students donate. The proceeds help feed people in need.

Due to the pandemic, there is an increased need for food assistance, and the food bank is working hard to keep up with the demand. Since I have extra clay and access to my own studio, I’ve been thinking about throwing a mug sale and donating the proceeds to the food bank. A donation of $1 provides three meals, so I think it would be a great way to give back to the community and, in return, get a handmade mug to support our coffee addiction!

The bright side, Part 1

The bright side, Part 2

The bright side, Part 4

The bright side, Part 5

The bright side, Part 6

The bright side, Part 7

— Carolyn Cox